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Column types

In SeaTable you can store information and data in a wide variety of formats. In addition to simple, text-based information (e.g. words, numbers, amounts of money), SeaTable also supports the storage of complex information (e.g. files, images, formatted text incl. inserted elements). With selection fields you can divide your data into defined categories and integrated validation functions (e.g. URL, position data) ensure that your entries are in a uniform, directly evaluable format. With formulas you can perform arithmetic operations and with links you can create relations between entries in different tables that allow powerful database operations.

Get to know SeaTables 21 different column types here!

Columns with manual data entry

Each table column is assigned a type. The column type determines what data you can enter into the cells of the column. For example, you cannot insert files into a text field. The date column, on the other hand, forces you to enter a date in the selected format.

Text

This column type stores text without formatting. Text consists of letters, numbers and special characters as well as spaces. Formatting such as bold, alignment or indentation is not possible. Information in text columns is also not interpreted by SeaTable. The strings "24.12.2000" and "https://seatable.io" are not interpreted as a date or URL. Extended functions that require such an interpretation are not available. For the two examples, this means that the URL is not displayed as a hyperlink and no advanced filters such as "5 days before" are available for the date.

Text columns are often used for names and (short) descriptions. Examples are therefore "Max Mustermann" or "good condition, no external flaws".

Number

Number columns store numeric information. A numeric information can be a number, a percentage or a monetary amount. SeaTable refuses to allow letters to be entered in columns of the type number.

When creating a number column, you can specify the number format more precisely. You can choose from five options:

  • Number: The entered number is displayed.
    Example: "321" → "321
  • Percent: The entered number is displayed as a percentage value.
    Example: "321" → "321%".
  • Yuan: The entered number is displayed with two decimal places and leading yuan sign.
    Example: "321" → "¥0.32
  • Dollar: The entered number is displayed with two decimal places and leading dollar sign.
    Example: "321" → "$0.32
  • Euro: The entered number is displayed with two decimal places and a leading euro sign.
    Example: "321" → "€0.32
  • User-defined currency: The entered number is displayed with two decimal places and a leading, freely selectable currency symbol (e.g. £, ₺) or abbreviation (e.g. CHF, SEK).
    Example: "321" and "£" → "£0.32".

You can also choose which decimal and thousands separators are to be used. The comma ("0.32") and the dot ("0.32") are available as decimal separators; for easier readability of large numbers, `000 blocks can be separated by spaces ("1 000 000"), commas ("1 000 000") and dots ("1 000 000"). The use of the same decimal and thousands separator is prevented by SeaTable.

Number columns with numbers and percentages always show values as entered. If the same number of decimal places is always to be displayed, the button "Select decimal places" is available for this purpose. When you activate it, you will be asked to enter the number of decimal places. All values are then displayed with the selected decimal precision.

Checkbox

Checkboxes allow the collection of binary information: Tick set vs. tick not set. Further entries such as additions are not possible.

This makes checkboxes particularly suitable for recording clear status messages. Examples are "done" or "not done", "on" or "off" or "available" or "not available".

Date

Date columns interpret the information entered as a date. Inputs that cannot be interpreted as dates are discarded as invalid.

You can choose from three format options for entering and displaying the data:

  • International (ISO) date in the format YYYY-MM-DD (e.g. "2020-07-04")
  • American date in the format M/D/YYYY (e.g. "7/4/2020")
  • European date in the format DD/MM/YYYY (e.g. "04/07/2020")

You can turn the date column into a date/time column using the "Exact to the minute" switch. When the switch is activated, the entry of the time in each cell is obligatory. Without the time, the entry is not interpreted correctly and is displayed as invalid.

Single selection

In a cell in a single-selection column, you can select a value from a list of defined options. You create the list of defined options per single-selection column yourself and can adapt it to changing circumstances at any time. Caution is advised when removing an option from this list. If this option is in use in the column, it is deleted from all cells in the column.

You define the options available in a single-selection column via Edit single selection in the context menu of the column. There you can also import and export option lists. A new option is also created when you paste content from the clipboard into a cell in a single-selection column using the key combination CTRL + V.

The single selection is particularly suitable for categorisation. Condition descriptions (e.g. "new", "used", "defective") are common uses, as are status messages (e.g. "open", "contacted", "in discussion", "in negotiation", "completed").

Multiple selection

With a multiple selection, you can select any number of values from a list of defined values. As with single selection, you create the list of possible values yourself and adapt it to your individual circumstances.

You define the options available in a multiple selection column via Edit multiple selection in the context menu of the column. There you can also import and export option lists. A new option is also created when you paste content from the clipboard into a cell in a single-selection column using the key combination CTRL + V.

The multiple selection is ideal for keywording - also called tagging. You can assign several standardised properties or states to an entry via the defined values.

Formatted text

In this column type you can save longer texts with inserted elements such as pictures and tables. The following formatting and structuring options are available:

  • Style sheets: Six headings and one paragraph style sheet
  • Enumerations: Numbered list, unordered list, checkbox list
  • Highlighting: bold, italic, links and inline code
  • Elements: code block, quote, table and image

Formatted text is used for descriptions and documentation. If it is helpful for information gathering that texts contain structuring elements and/or text and images are close together, then this column type is the right one.

File

The File column type stores any number of files of any file type. SeaTable offers a preview function for numerous image file formats.

Image

The Image column type stores any number of image files in the file formats BMP, GIF, ICO, JPG, PNG, SVG and TIF. The image column is thus a file column restricted to image file formats.

Employees

In a staff column, you can enter any number of users who have at least read access to the base. SeaTable users without access cannot be entered in the column as employees. Other entries are also not allowed.

Optionally, it is also possible to inform employees by notification when they are selected in an employee column. To activate this function, use the option Notify staff.

The employee column is particularly useful for project management. When you enter tasks to be completed in a table, you can record the persons performing the task in a first column of the type employee and the person responsible in a second such column. The notification function ensures that the persons concerned do not overlook a newly assigned task.

URL

URL columns interpret the information entered as a resource in the local network or on the Internet and allow it to be called up directly by clicking on it. Since entries in this column type are not validated, an Internet address (e.g. https://seatable.io) or an IP address (e.g. 192.168.178.1) can be stored in a cell.

You call up a saved URL by first clicking on the entry and then on the link icon on the right in the cell. The URL is then opened in a new browser tag. SeaTable automatically adds http(s):// as a prefix if the URL was recorded without being entered.

E-mail

Email columns are specialised text columns for capturing and storing email addresses and they allow direct use with a mouse click. You can use an e-mail address directly as the recipient address for a new e-mail by first clicking on the cell and then on the envelope icon on the right of the cell. The standard e-mail programme is then opened and the address is inserted into therow address.

The email column is particularly handy for web forms. Using an email field instead of a text column ensures that the input has the syntax of a valid email address.

Duration

The Duration column a specialised number column type for storing time measurements or spans and intervals. Non-numeric entries are therefore discarded as invalid.

You can choose between two formats for the display of durations:

  • Duration to the minute in the format h:mm (e.g. "1:23")
  • Duration to the second in the format h:mm:ss (e.g. "1:23:45")

Regardless of the display format selected, entries in duration columns can be made either as numbers or in colon-separated format. A number entered is automatically converted into the latter format. It is interpreted - according to the format selection - as seconds or minutes. "105" is thus converted to 1:45 when using the minute format and 0:01:45 when using the second format. If a duration is entered in the colon-separated format and the precision of the duration is not exactly observed, then SeaTable automatically adds or cuts by interpreting the input from right to left: The entry "1:02:03" in a cell with minute precision is truncated to 02:03; an entry with too little precision receives leading zeros.

All duration values are stored in seconds and this value can be used in formulas. A subsequent change of the display format is also possible without loss of information.

Link to other entries

In cells of this column type, you can enter any number of references to entries in other tables of the base.

The link field is intended for mapping relations between entries in different tables. The link field can be used to map 1:n and n:1 relations as well as n:m relations.

Formula

In a formula column, you can perform transformations and calculations on data in other columns. In a formula, you can consider all columns that are available in a base.

SeaTable offers formulas from the following areas:

  • Constants
  • Operands
  • Mathematical functions
  • Text functions
  • Date functions
  • Logical functions
  • Statistical functions
  • Linking functions

You will alsofind the complete formula reference in this manual.

The number format for numerical results can be defined via the format settings of the formula column, which you can call up via the context menu of the column heading. The same formats are available as in the column type Number.

Button

Buttons allow you to automate the processing of data or the execution of certain actions.

SeaTables buttons can perform the following actions:

  • Run script
  • Sending e-mail (from version 1.9)
  • Sending WeChat Business messages (from version 1.9)

The buttons can be given an individual label and colour.

Column types with automatic data collection

In addition to the column types in which you as a user enter data, there are four other column types in SeaTable whose contents SeaTable generates automatically. These columns cannot be edited manually by the user. They are primarily used for documentation purposes.

Creator

SeaTable automatically documents the name of the user who created the row in the creator column.

Created

SeaTable automatically documents the date and time of creation of the row in the creation time column. The date and time are displayed in the format YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM. (As of 5 July 2020, the display format cannot be changed).

Last editor

SeaTable automatically documents the name of the user who made the last change to an entry in the Last Editor column.

Last edited

SeaTable documents the date and time of the last change of an entry in the column Last Change Date. The date and time are displayed in the format YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM. (As of 5 July 2020, the display format cannot be changed).

Automatic number

SeaTable automatically generates a consecutive serial number in new rows . Three formats are available:

  • Serial number with any number of leading zeros
    Example: "0000" → "0001", "0002", "0003", ...
  • Serial number with any number of leading zeros and string prefix.
    Example: "Product-000" → "Product-001", "Product-002", "Product-003", ...
  • Serial number with any number of leading zeros and prefix of the current date in the format YYYYMMDD.
    Example: "YYYYMMDD-00" → "20200914-01", "20200914-02", "20200914-03", ...

The Automatic Number column is only available in the first column.